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Leeds Rhinos boss feels “pain and frustration” as he addresses pressure on job

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos are in a difficult place at the moment. Following a series of eye-catching off-season signings, the Rhinos were expected to be challenging at the top of the Super League table. However, a mixed start to the season sees them currently sitting outside of the top six. 

The Rhinos have won six of their opening 12 games. However, they have suffered a string of heavy defeats against Super League’s top sides, including the recent defeat against St Helens.

It is not solely the results which are causing issues for Leeds. The nature of their performances has added fuel to the fire, with the Rhinos lacking go forward in attack, and looking like a side without a coherent game plan.

A vocal section of the Leeds crowd has begun to turn against head coach, Rohan Smith. The Rhinos host Castleford Tigers this weekend, with the Rhinos needing a win to get their faltering season back on track.

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Leeds Rhinos boss addresses pressure on job

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Smith has addressed the growing chorus of questions regarding his position with the club. He was asked whether he felt under pressure when speaking in his weekly press conference. Smith said that he has been around coaching his whole life, and that he understands the demands of the role.

“I’ve commented about this a lot over the last few years, even before I got here. I feel pressure, I understand pressure. I’ve only been around coaching my whole life, I get it. I don’t feel any more or less than normal.

“I understand the magnitude of this club, what it means to people. We’re all disappointed with some of the performances, or parts of the games particularly, rather than the whole game. I feel the pain and the frustration that other people do.”

Leeds lost 40-10 away at St Helens in their last game, with Harry Newman, in particular, facing criticism during the Sky coverage for his attitude in the loss.

“No one takes a loss harder than me”

Leeds Rhinos Rohan Smith

Credit: Imago Images

The Rhinos have lost six games so far this season, and face an uphill battle to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs. They currently sit two points behind the Salford Red Devils, the current occupants of sixth place.

In the last two seasons, the side finishing sixth has finished the season on 28 points, meaning the Rhinos may need another eight wins from the remaining fixtures to break back into the play offs.

Smith stated that the losses hurt him, although he does not always let it show. However, everyone in the club is working hard to improve.

“No one takes a loss harder than me. Sometimes I can hide it better or process it in a different way to some people, but the losses are taken extremely hard and we’re working hard to get better.”

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